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BGSU Privatizes Flight School Operations

BOWLING GREEN, O.— A new partnership has taken flight at Bowling Green State University. The University is finalizing arrangements this week to allow North Star Aviation Inc. (NSA) to provide flight instruction for the aviation program.

According to Dr. Venu G. Dasigi, interim dean for the College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering, the agreement enables the University to expand the aviation program without increasing University costs for new equipment and additional personnel.

NSA, a full-service general aviation company based in Mankato, Minn., has established an Ohio company and will operate the training department as Bowling Green Flight Center LLC (BGFC). NSA runs a similar operation for Minnesota State University in Mankato.

As part of the agreement, BGFC will build a new hangar and classroom space, and provide flight instruction for the flight school, and BGSU will continue to provide faculty oversight for the program.

“We are always looking for strategic collaborations that enhance our programs for our students,” said BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey. “Because we are well aware of the importance of our aviation program to the University, the community, the state and the region, we see this partnership as a positive for our students, the University, Bowling Green Flight Center and the community.”

“BGFC is experienced at providing this service in a university setting,” Dasigi said. “They teach the flight classes and our tenure-track faculty teach the remaining aviation academic courses. The college will maintain academic credentials and the flight center will remain in compliance to FAA regulations.”

He also pointed out there is no change in faculty lines with this system. “The only difference is that BGFC hires and pays the flight instructors, working in close collaboration with the University.

“BGSU aviation students will benefit from a private company’s ability to provide an up-to-date fleet of planes and state-of-the-art equipment,” Dasigi said. This collaboration will allow BGFC the opportunity to assist BGSU to move forward with helping meet the rapidly growing demand for trained commercial pilots both domestically and internationally.

BGSU has sold its nine airplanes, equipment, tools and inventory to BGFC.  In order to meet the demands of the projected growth in enrollment the company has begun repainting and upgrading the airplanes. With a predicted industry-wide pilot shortage over the next 10 years “BGSU will be positioned to increase enrollment at a time when the demand for pilots is on the rise,” Dasigi said.